as you guys may have guessed, FatKidOnFire and I are all for promoting up and coming artists and this next interview is with a guy who has only recently started making music. Theo Johnson (AKA Zone) produces dubstep and drum and bass, and considering he’s only just got into it, he’s going to be one to watch. soundcloud track and interview is below, and if your feeling his stuff, hit him up on his Facebook. peace and love.
1. How long have you been making music for?
Just under a year now, except that it’s been very on and off seeing as i’ve been a busy little bee at school. Now I have loads of time though so spending a lot of it on the keyboard!
2. What made you want to do it, and do you produce just electronic music, or do you try and do other stuff too?
Well I remember a mate showing me one of his friends videos of him doing some dubstep mixing, and I thought, shit me I want to do that kind of stuff. I didn’t have any DJ equipment so found out how people actually make electronic music and then taught myself from there. I wasn’t into music until I discovered electronic music, I remember when I was 12 everyone was into crap rock bands and I thought there was something wrong with me, but it turns out I was just a dubhead at heart. I find electronic music encompasses so many different styles and I love it all, so I think for now I’ll stick to electronic music until I get bored, which probably means never.
3. What software do you use to make your tracks?
I use Logic but really interested in Ableton, and when I can afford a new computer I’ll probably get it because I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I just find the synths in Logic are a bit weak and boring.
4. How long on average does it take to make a tune, from start to finish?
It really depends, Killer Beast took me a bit longer than a day after I had sorted out the sample, whereas I’d been working on Ascension for weeks before I finally got the finishing touches on it. Since I make different genres, sometimes I can be in a dubstep mood and just focus on that for weeks and neglect any other tracks, or sometimes i’m in a liquid mood. It all depends.
5. Dubstep/drum and bass artist’s/tunes your feeling at the moment?
Really into Benga, Flux Pavillion, Datsik, Joker and Magnetic Man at the mo, and on the DnB side it’s all the usual liquid artists: Netsky, B-Complex, Logistics, and god damn Mistabishi is a musical genius. All Hospital Records as you can see!
6. Any particular producers/dj’s that inspire you? Why?
Well Mistabishi is very inspiring with his use of samples, Printer Jam is such a wicked tune and I love that most of it was sampled, he’s very inventive. London Elektricity is very inspiring just because I’ve always listened to the Hospital podcasts and he’s such a positive dude, and plays good tunes. He’s a real legend. Benga is also a huge influence because his music was the first Dubstep I’d ever heard, and since most other artists have dwindled away since then, Benga has really adapted and lasted, some would call it going mainstream, but I think that’s stupid, all it is is that he’s playing music that more people enjoy, and that’s a good thing! Katy on a mission is a perfect example of it, when you compare it to his old stuff from Diary of an Afro Warrior.
7. Are you going to stick to just producing or do you want to DJ as well?
I reeeeaaalllllyyy want to DJ also but can’t currently afford any equipment, but that’s where my upcoming EP comes in hopefully! (wouldn’t mind getting a half decent computer also, one where I can tell whether the bass is my music or my computers fan) I could always get a fucking Job, but… meh.
8. Best dubstep set you’ve seen live has been…?
Benga at creamfields 2010 was MASSIVE! I had such a good time.
9. Recommendations of any tracks you think all dubheads should be listening to?
It’s hard not to mention the obvious ones. I love ‘digital controller’ by Flux Pavillion, when it gets into it, it’s fucking epic. I think theres a lot of dubheads who just listen to whatever’s dirrrttyyyy and get on with their bass faces, but there’s a lot of stuff like Burial who people don’t pay enough attention to, ‘Unite’ is a wicked tune. ‘Love in outer space’ by 2562 is also a tuuuuuune! Rihanna - ‘Rude boy’ Chrispy remix is ‘dirtier than a shit dispensing dildo inserted into a dudes japseye’. Sorry for being so original.(Datsik’s Gizmo is saaaaafe) I want to go on but i’ll stop myself now.
10. What can we look forward to coming from zone in the future? anything in the pipeline?
Well I’m waiting for a release date for an EP which I just finished, which is pretty exciting stuff. I’d like to go back to some old stuff and re-do them, tracks which I like which i’d produced before I even knew how to master. Melodrone was actually the first track I’d ever mastered properly. The track I’m producing at the moment is a Dubstep remix of ‘Release the pressure’ by Leftfield, can’t wait until it’s finished. I’m looking forward to trying new stuff like Electro House, BUT, I promise, I will always be making Liquid and Dubstep tunes no matter what.